When we talk about travel or our dream destinations so often, we end up speaking of far off destinations across the world that we’re dying to witness. But I wonder if we remember that there still remains so much that we’re yet to explore within our own beautiful country. Beyond all that is known, there’s still plenty that remains highly unexplored, untouched and unheard of in India and the joy of exploring our country is all that our keen eyes can land upon should they wish to. One such place is the Raneh Falls which are India’s very own Grand Canyon.
Located at Khajuraho which is known for its paintings, its temples and for being shrouded in deep mythology, Raneh Falls is another gem in its vast bank. Perched prettily at a distance of 22kms from Khajuraho, the falls have been named after former ruler Raja Rane Pratap. The falls have been the protection of being a forest reserve in order to better maintain and preserve the area. Here you will find a gorgeously tumbling blue stretch made by river Karnavathi which overtime came to even be called River Ken.
How to reach: You can fly down to Khajuraho or even take a train from New Delhi and some other cities. Upon reaching Khajuraho, book a taxi to take you till Raneh Falls.
Best time to visit: January to March, October to December
Entry Fees/ Charge: Rs.50 per person and Rs.250 per car
Open Timings: 9am to 1pm
The waterfall is actually made with the confluence of two rivers, these are the river of Khuddar and Ken with the latter being more dominant at the point in particular. This is a meeting of two blue-green stretches of water as a wildly cascading pool. Some may prefer to visit in the monsoon season because that is when the water level rises higher. Although that has led to mishaps in the past following which the forest department has been strict in observing the guests. However, even otherwise when the water rises wonderfully what it takes away from your sighting is the deep gorge of the canyon. So, if your intrigue towards this place stems from how it earned itself the title of “The Grand Canyon of India”, then the winter months are better suited for your curious self. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of water even in the winter months, with the stretch being approximately 5kms long and the drop being 30 metres deep.
The added benefit is that even as you gaze away at the waters and their wandering waves, you’ll be able to see the curves and crevices that make up this massive canyon. The rocky formations stretch far and wide, cropping out and rising in all shapes and sizes for quite a distance. Interestingly, the rocky formations are not uniform and can be found in varying sizes and shapes throughout, i.e., here you will find a variation in the depth of the canyon at different points.
The granite stones too take tinges of pink, red, grey and brown in a colourful welcome to its visitors. In fact, the granite and dolomite rocks found here are spotted in 5 shades which is said to be one of the lesser seen sights in most of Asia. Between them you will find not one but multiple waterfalls dipping and diving at different points. You know, how it is named after King Rane Pratap? I wonder if he and his royal entourage ever chose this place as a picnic spot? Did they pack up goodies and munchies, drape a sheet on one of the massive rocks and sit down to leisurely enjoy their day with the canyon standing as a scenic treat before them? Well, I don’t know about them but I certainly think that those of us visiting the canyon can make a picnic out of it. Lay on a rock, stare at the water, share a conversation and be mesmerized by what’s standing before you.
In our savvy and fast-paced world, the locals certainly take it up a notch. How you ask? Well, not only have they bestowed the title of the Grand Canyon but they even fondly refer to the waterfall as Niagara Falls! Hah and you thought seeing Niagara is a far-off dream! It seems our country really does have a fix for everything, no? ? Now when you are making a visit all the way, you can even go to the nearby Ken Gharial Sanctuary at the foot of which the falls actually start out. Let yourself explore the forested area, the greens and the wilderness existing in a peaceful rhythm.
There you may spot deer, wild bulls and birds too. Looking for some company? How about a monkey?! Ah, no not you, the monkeys we actually spot there. :p
Meanwhile, if you are in the mood for a little adventure, throw on your sturdy pair of shoes and go about making your way through some short trails here allowing hikes to quieter and charming spots, just for the escape you set out to seek. Unfortunately, the construction of a dam nearby may lead to the disappearance of the falls soon. So, if you are looking to combine your trip to Khajuraho with the wonderous Grand Canyon of India, you shall have to do it super soon, my friend!
Click here to read about Khajuraho in detail!